Michael Peña

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Michael Peña
Michael Peña Labor Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Auditorium (cropped).jpg
Peña in March 2012
Born Michael Anthony Peña
(1976-01-13) January 13, 1976 (age 38)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1994–present
Spouse(s) Brie Shaffer (2006–present)

Michael Anthony Peña (born January 13, 1976) is an American actor and musician. He is best known for his roles in the films Crash (2004), World Trade Center (2006), Shooter (2007), Observe and Report (2009), 30 Minutes or Less (2011), Tower Heist (2011), End of Watch (2012) and Gangster Squad (2013).

Personal life[edit]

Peña was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Nicolasa, a social worker, and Eleuterio Peña, a button factory worker.[1][2] Peña's parents were originally farmers, and emigrated from Mexico; his father was from Villa Purificación, Jalisco, and his mother was from Charcas, San Luis Potosí.[3][4][5] Peña attended Hubbard High School in Chicago.[6] Peña and his wife, Brie Shaffer, welcomed their first child in September 2008, a boy named Roman.[7] He is a Scientologist.[8]

Career[edit]

Though Peña has been a regular in independent productions since 1994, his breakthrough performances came in 2004 in two Best Picture Oscar-winning Paul Haggis penned films, Million Dollar Baby and Crash. The latter was also directed by Haggis, while the former was helmed by Clint Eastwood. Though both films are critically acclaimed, Peña received attention for his particularly emotional performance in Crash. The following year, he appeared on the Golden Globe winning series, The Shield. In 2006, he starred in Oliver Stone's film based on the September 11, 2001 attacks, World Trade Center. He also had a small role in Alejandro González Iñárritu's Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe-winning film Babel. This gives him the rare distinction of having appeared in three consecutive Oscar nominated films. He also starred alongside Mark Wahlberg in Shooter (2007) as novice FBI agent Nick Memphis.

In 2006, Peña starred in the HBO film Walkout as Sal Castro, a Mexican-American high school teacher who inspires a group of East L.A. high school students to fight for Chicano rights. In 2009, he played a mall security guard alongside Seth Rogen in Jody Hill's Observe and Report.

In 2012, he co-starred with Jake Gyllenhaal as a Los Angeles police officer, in End of Watch. The same year, he began filming Chávez, a biopic about the life of American labor leader César Chávez, who founded the United Farm Workers. Peña stars as Chávez.[9] He will appear alongside Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, and Logan Lerman in the World War II-set action film Fury (2014).[10]

Peña also formed the Los Angeles rock band Nico Vega in 2005, which is named after his mother Nicolasa. He left the band in 2007 to concentrate on his acting career.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1996 My Fellow Americans Ernesto
1997 Star Maps Star Map Boy
1998 Boogie Boy Drug Dealer
1998 Cucaracha, LaLa Cucaracha Orderly
1999 Bellyfruit Oscar
2000 Gone in 60 Seconds Ignacio Credited as Michael A. Pena
2001 Buffalo Soldiers Garcia
2003 United States of Leland, TheThe United States of Leland Guillermo
2003 Love Object Ramirez
2004 Calcium Kid, TheThe Calcium Kid Jose Mendez
2004 Crash Daniel Nominated—ALMA Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Gotham Awards for Best Ensemble Cast
2004 Million Dollar Baby Omar
2005 Little Athens Carlos
2005 Sueño Jimmy
2006 Fifty Pills Eduardo
2006 Babel John - Border Patrol
2006 World Trade Center Will Jimeno Nominated—ALMA Award for Outstanding Actor - Motion Picture
2007 Shooter Nick Memphis
2007 Lions for Lambs Ernest
2008 Lucky Ones, TheThe Lucky Ones T.K. Poole
2009 Observe and Report Dennis
2009 My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? Detective Vargas
2010 Everything Must Go Frank Garcia
2011 Good Doctor, TheThe Good Doctor Jimmy
2011 Battle: Los Angeles Joe Rincon Nominated—ALMA Award for Favourite Movie Actor
2011 Lincoln Lawyer, TheThe Lincoln Lawyer Jesus Martinez
2011 30 Minutes or Less Chango
2011 Tower Heist Enrique Dev'reaux
2012 End of Watch Officer Zavala Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Nominated—MTV Movie Awards for Best Latino Actor
2013 Gangster Squad Navidad Ramirez
2013 Turbo Tito Lopez Voice
2013 American Hustle Paco Hernandez Won—Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Won—Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
2014 Cesar Chavez César Chávez
2014 Frontera Post-Production
2014 Hell & Back Abigor Voice
Post-production
2014 The Vatican Tapes Father Lozano Post-production
2014 Fury Post-production


Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Pacific Blue Rabbit Episode: "Bangers"
1997 Touched by an Angel Reynaldo Estes Episode: "At Risk"
1998 Homicide: Life on the Street Luis Carrenza 2 episodes
Credited as Michael Anthony Pena
1998 Sentinel, TheThe Sentinel Johnny Episode: "Night Shift"
Credited as Michael A. Pena
1998 7th Heaven Roger Episode: "Let's Talk About Sex"
Credited as Michael A. Pena
1999 Moesha Alejandro Episode: "Life Imitating Art"
1999 Profiler Alex Lopez Episode: "Spree of Love"
Credited as Michael Anthony Peña
1999–2000 Felicity Brian Burke 5 episodes
2000 The District Sante Episode: "The Real Terrorist"
2001 Roswell Fly 2 episodes
2001 Men, Women & Dogs Miguel 2 episodes
2002 American Family 2 episodes
2002 Andy Richter Controls the Universe Patrick Episode: "Wedding"
2003 The Twilight Zone Noah Episode: "Sunrise"
Credited as Michael A. Peña
2003 ER Police Officer 3 episodes
1997, 2004 NYPD Blue Ferd
Wilmer Lopez
2 episodes
2005 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Juanito Concha Episode: "Snakes"
2005 Shield, TheThe Shield Detective Armando Renta 10 episodes
2006 Walkout Sal Castro TV Movie
Nominated—ALMA Award for Outstanding Actor - Television Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie
Won—Black Reel Awards for Network/Cable - Best Supporting Actor
Won—Imagen Awards for Best Actor - Television
2008 My Name Is Earl Circus Episode: "No Heads and a Duffle Bag"
2010 Eastbound & Down Mr. Cisneros 5 episodes
2011, 2013 American Dad! Maguerite Voice
2 episodes
2014 Chozen Ricky Voice
Series regular
2014 Gracepoint Mark Lasseter Upcoming series

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rusoff, Jane Wollman (2005-05-07). "Michael Pena stands out in 'Crash'". Tribune. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  2. ^ "Michael Peña: "Nunca pensé en hacer telenovelas"". People. 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  3. ^ "MIKE PEÑA, nació en Chicago de padres mexicanos. Su madre, de Charcas.". 2007-11-18. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  4. ^ Michael Pena has luck on his side: Article at Chicago Sun-Times
  5. ^ Daunt, Tina (2006-10-01). "He's all about survivor roles". Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  6. ^ Peña, Michael (2005). "Celebrity interview with Michael Peña". Celebrity (368): 8–11. 
  7. ^ "Brie Shaffer Biography". Imdb. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  8. ^ "Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International Celebrates 43rd Anniversary". Scientology News. 2012-08-25. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  9. ^ McNary, Dave. "Participant Marches With 'Chavez'." Variety. June 5, 2012.
  10. ^ The Hollywood Reporter (May 14, 2013). "Michael Pena Boards David Ayer's Fury". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 

External links[edit]